The Kilpatrick Turnpike

About a mile from my house one finds the Kilpatrick Turnpike. You might wonder who this toll road was named after. A successful inventor? An Olympic athlete? A war hero?

At first I couldn’t find an answer, as the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority doesn’t give any information on whom Oklahoma’s eight turnpikes are named after.

What I did find there was that the turnpikes won’t be paid off until 2028. Better get used to paying those tolls! Also, the public’s debt is spread across all of the roads, so tolls won’t end on any of these roads until all eight are paid off. But then the poor turnpike officials would lose their jobs! We can’t have that! Oh well, all they have to do is construct yet another expensive highway to ensure that the tolls keep flowing.

After that little realization I finally found the answer to my original question within this 2002 USENET post:

Kilpatrick Turnpike – named for OKC oilman and philathropist[sic] John Kilpatrick.

Sounds pretty good, right? Until you realize that Kilpatrick was the director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority around the time that the road was proposed. He named it after himself! Oh boy!

Reading more into that post, I discovered that Turner Turnpike was named for former Oklahoma governor Roy J. Turner, whose claim to fame was establishing the turnpike system itself. And another major turnpike is named for H. E. Bailey, who among other things was, of course, a member of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

I wish that when the roads are set up to perpetually take tolls from the people, that their names would at least recognize someone who might inspire the populace to do things other than set up more regulations, taxes, and tolls.

I want to get into open source

Lately I’ve been thinking about getting into open source development. Right now, I’m thinking about diving into a project that I like a lot. You’re using it right now, if you didn’t know! It’s the Typo blog engine which is based on Ruby on Rails. I’ve been running this blog, for better or for worse, on Typo for some time now.

Typo has been coming into its own recently but still needs some good help. I’ve been studying Rails along with Ruby in general and I think it’s time I get my feet wet. I’ve been listening in on the mailing list and might submit a patch to the Trac site sometime soon.

Have any of you done open source development? Do you have any tips or things I should read before I get going?

People are humans

Lately people have asked me frequently what I want to be doing once I graduate. I’ve finally found a quick answer that I believe encompasses all of the different areas in which I’m interested.

I’d like to go into interaction/interface design, web application development, user-centered product design, or some similar area.

I’d also be happy doing some sort of audio-oriented digital signal processing, audio synthesis, or audio electronics sort of field as a backup.

On top of all this I hope to become politically active somehow at the local level, wherever I end up. Possibly I could even work for a think-tank that deals with technological issues.

These fields are fairly disparate, and I don’t have a good sense of which one or ones I will end up in. But they do all hold a common thread.

So when people ask me, now I answer, “I want to ensure that my work treats people as humans, rather than mindless drones.”

Any engineering work that I do ought to make technology more accessible and natural to use for real people. Any audio work I do should focus on making things sound natural and pleasant to real people. Any political work I do should help bridge the gap between arcane policy, political wrangling, and the real people who are affected.

So that’s my new answer. It’s not too focused, but then again, it finally makes my plans cohesive in some manner.

By the way, sorry I’ve been gone for a while. My blog software should work properly now. I had to revert to the default theme. Hopefully the problems will get fixed soon because I liked how it was before.

What does dining out-rank?

“Dining moves up on the college priority list” is an article that talks about the improvement of dining halls at colleges, especially highlighting Olin College’s dining hall, my personal dining hall.

The real question is, if dining really has moved up the college priority list, what did it surpass? Hopefully not anything like actual academics! I’m one to believe that there really isn’t such a priority list. Silly North Jersey Media Group. In the original Washington Post publication of this article, the headline was instead “Yes, Sushi’s on the Meal Plan”